Funding to crack down on criminal landlords across the Arun district has been made available by the Government.
Although the majority of landlords provide decent homes for tenants, a small majority are breaking the law by offering unsafe or inadequate accommodation.
Government funding will be used by councils to take enforcement action against these landlords and advise tenants of their housing rights.
Arun will be one of the areas to benefit, as it submitted a joint bid with other West Sussex councils.
The proposal is to commission the Building Research Establishment to undertake modelling of the private rented sector housing stock using a variety of data sources in order to identify Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) including those that should be but are not licensed, provide energy efficiency information for enforcing/tackling minimum energy efficiency standards legislation and also using their housing health cost calculator which will help evidence the savings that can be achieved for the NHS by private sector housing interventions.
Arun’s share of the fund is £34,001.
A council spokesman said: “It will enable the private sector housing team to identify where high-risk properties are located allowing targeted investigations, interventions and enforcement action to take place in accordance with the relevant enforcement policy.”
Landlords must apply for a mandatory HMO licence if their property is occupied by five or more people in two or more households and they share facilities.
It is a criminal offence to operate a licensable HMO without a valid licence.
Landlords can contact the council if they are subject to this legislation by visiting www.arun.gov.uk/hmo or calling 01903 737755.
Robert Jenrick, the Government’s Housing Secretary, said: “This Government will deliver a better deal for renters.
“It’s completely unacceptable that a minority of unscrupulous landlords continue to break the law and provide homes which fall short of the standards we rightly expect – making lives difficult for hard-working tenants who just want to get on with their lives.
“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure and the funding announced today for the South East will strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on poor landlords and drive up standards.”